So people say that Christmas is a time for children. And as a busy adult trying to juggle work, buying gifts, our economy, making sure we have the house ready for guests and have the batteries for the toys that are never included and always needed on Christmas day, it can be very easy to feel that this is not the time of year for us. As an adult Christmas is a lot of work, no question. However inside of all of us big people there is an inner child who remembers the feeling of Yuletide magic and whether or not we are conscious of it our inner child desperately wants to join in the fun, without worrying about the turkey.
Today the term inner child conjures up the image of old wounds buried deeply in our psyche. Creating the belief that inner child work is a serious business and an area for deep healing (and on one level yes it is) . However our inner child is also that part of us that represents our capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness. What could be more Christmasy than that? You may not have had perfect the perfect Christmas holidays as a child. However we have all been caught by Christmas magic, winter magic at some point in our lives. By connecting as an adult with the childlike appreciation of that magic we can gently give ourselves and our souls a much needed healing without the tears.
Working joyfully with your inner child at this time of is seasonally a perfect time of the year. With the winter solstice on thursday 21st December the sun is reborn after the longest night and the dawn heralds the first day of growth in the length of the day. Here in the middle of winter is the birth of the summer. By connecting with this energy joyfully allowing our inner child to appreciate this time of year we can connect with a magic in our lives that we don’t give ourselves during the rest of the year.
So I challenge you to give yourself a wondrous gift this Christmas. The gift of appreciating this moment in your life with Childlike joy by inviting your inner child to spend time with you this holiday. And if you are not sure how then allow your adult mind to be inspired by these ideas of how to joyfully connect with your inner child today.
Find your joy
Connecting with inner child at Christmas doesn’t necessarily mean recreating the Christmas we had as children. Rather it is about connecting with our joy. As you sit on the way home from work today. Instead of running through your to do list try to remember what it was you used to love about this time of year as a child. If like some of us the thought of childhood christmas does not invoke joy try to think about the Christmas you wished to have as a child. Think of the things that you did or wanted to do that made or would have made you happy as a child.
Allow yourself to play
Allowing yourself to play as an adult can be challenging. We have a social construct that tells us that when we become an adult we need to be serious. Yet play is just as important for adults as it is for children. It’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships. Play makes us more innovative. Think how a child’s mind works. In their imagination they can turn sand into a cake made of ice cream and sausages, or blankets into magical flying capes, houses and castles. They embrace infinite possibilities without question and ignore the limitations of reality. To them a plastic doll is a living breathing being. As adults it can be challenging to get immediately into this place of imagination.
The activities we did or wanted to do as children at Christmas can be a way to restart this part of us. Choose some of the Christmas activities you remembered or wished for in childhood and make it important to do a few of them this yule. Here we will be baking mince pies, building a den and watching the snowman and Die Hard on Christmas day. The perfect combination of our childhood memories and desires, purely to give our inner child to express his and herself. Board games with the family or reading stories, making cards with a lot of glitter, going to the theatre, ice skating in the park,dancing in the kitchen to your favourite yule songs, or seeing who can wrap a present using a whole roll of tape , do what inspires you as with children the possibilities are endless.
Allow yourself to enjoy wonder
If you have ever been for a walk with a small child you know that it takes a long time. Children love to notice and explore the world around them. And what is stopping us from doing the same? This weekend I went into the snow and frosty covered garden and Look the time to really look closely at the crystals formed on the grass. It was a moment of still magical beauty. I felt filled with wonder for the world we live in. Get yourself outside and allow yourself to marvel in the world around you. The sparkling lights, the frost in the air, watching people laugh and love each other. When we stop to notice this world is full of so many magical moments we can enjoy.
Love and kindness
Children are naturally filled with love and a desire to be kind to one another. They hug and kiss the things and people they love without question. Think about what and who you love this Christmas. Practising gratitude, actively practising gratitude is a great way to connect with our inner child’s ability to love implicitly. Writing a gratitude list is one way to do this. Another is thanking the world for our lives before eating christmas dinner. However I think that actively practising gratitude, doing actions of love and kindness for others is a way to really allow your inner child to come out. Write a letter of thanks for one you love, give a gift to a coworker who has helped you this year, donate food to a food bank and if you are able volunteer and give your time to help people who are alone at this time of year. Caring for the world in childlike compassion will allow you to feel love in it’s purest form.
Remember to laugh
One of the reasons Santa is so loved by children (apart from the obvious present giving) is because he is jolly, smiling and laughing. Laughter awakes the inner child from his or her slumber. So allow yourself to be silly and laugh this christmas. For me comedy films and dancing around to music with Mr T in the kitchen are the things that instantly cheer me up. Last weekend I made traditional Danish christmas candy with a friends family. The table looked like a bomb of marzipan, nougat and icing had exploded. Our candy was certainly not made for the cover of Martha Stewart Living magazine but it was made with laughter. Bring laughter and unashamed silliness into your life this Christmas.
I hope you have a magical time over Christmas and by that I don’t just mean on the 24th/25th I mean now. Right now. Do something today to connect with your inner child and allow yourself a moment of joy. Everyone deserves joy at Christmas so get out there and make it for yourself. It’s easier than you think and is the greatest gift you will have given yourself all year.
Have an amazing week <3